Day: January 30, 2015

Keizer Rapids Regional Park

To the Editor: I am under the impression our Keizer Rapids Park was a regional park since Marion County contributed funds to purchase some of the property. The county was able to spend county park money. If the park is regional, the county should provide the city with funds for some park maintenance.  County Commissioner Janet Carlson is the co-chairman of the Community Build Task Force fundraising committee to fund the Big Toy in the park along with former Keizer city councilman Richard Walsh. If the county is so involved why is it that only people living within the city are on the Keizer Parks Board? It only makes sense that someone from the county should have a vote on how the regional park is managed and run since it has money in the park. The citizens of Keizer should thank the Marion County Commissioners for their interest and financial support. There are plans to construct a large indoor sports facility within the park in the future. The footprint for the building is set out in the revised park master plan. The money for the facility will have to come from the park budget at the expense of the other city parks. Besides the cost of construction there will be constant maintenance and administration cost throughout the year. The facility would need heating and cleaning in the winter and...

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State of the Union

To the Editor: The President’s State of the Union address is, by long standing tradition, a chest thumping opportunity for the administration in power. I would have expected no less from Obama. And a negative rebuttal by the other party is expected as well. It seems like things have never been better—or worse. Let me give my own “unbiased” views about what has or should have happened since Obama first became president. One of the Administration’s most significant actions, I feel, is beginning “normalization” of relations with Cuba, something that was long overdue. Closing of Gitmo—on track (I guess) but taking far too long. The previous administration’s action in denying prisoners access to courts of law has done irreparable damage to the credibility of the United States. Renunciation of torture – it’s about time.  I can hardly believe that we allowed such things as waterboarding and sleep deprivation to occur. Affordable Health Care—Seriously needed but so many concessions were made to Republicans and the health care industry (that failed to win their support, anyway) resulting in a very flawed health care act.  The Administration should have built on the Wyden-Bennett Bill which already had a measure of bi-partisan support. We have allowed our relationship with Russia to deteriorate, which is a very dangerous thing, indeed. The president should have entered into direct talks with President Putin, attended the Moscow Olympics, participated...

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Who’s missing in economic growth?

A Box of Soap By DON VOWELL To say that you are worried about America’s future is no different than saying you are worried about America’s children.  Last week we learned that just more than 50 percent of public school children are now from low-income homes.  In the same week we learned that the world’s richest 80 men collect the same income as the world’s three and a half billion poorest citizens.  The richest one percent will control half the world’s wealth by sometime in 2016.  That’s half for one percent, the other half for the 99 percent.  Even Congressional leadership is beginning to publicly speak of this inequity as a problem.  Is it time to connect the dots? Income level is now the surest indicator of successful outcomes in public schools.  Achievement gap is more reliably predicted by wealth than skin color.  Children from low income families often have more hurdles to clear than their financially stable classmates.  They often face disadvantages in hygiene, health, nutrition and sometimes safety and nurture in their homes.  There is humiliation in poverty.     We are fond of telling ourselves that America is the land of opportunity.  Anyone can rise from humble origin to become a success—societal or financial.  It isn’t borne out by reality.  Upward mobility is a hard thing to measure, but in our country children of poverty most...

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Republicans in the immigrant minefield

By MICHAEL GERSON Any Republican event convened by Rep. Steven King—he of “calves the size of cantaloupes” fame—could easily have degenerated into a festival of immigrant bashing. It is to the credit of the serious GOP presidential prospects in attendance that the Iowa Freedom Summit generally was not. Yes, Donald Trump emerged from his stretch clown car to say that “half of them are criminals.” And King declared that protesting Dream Act supporters were from “the other planet.” But the Republican script in Iowa was mainly focused on criticizing President Obama’s immigration executive actions rather than negatively characterizing illegal immigrants themselves. Avoiding offensive language is admittedly a low bar. But it is progress for Republicans to realize that they are walking in a minefield instead of a meadow. The greatest hazard to Republican prospects with rising demographic groups came in the form of an argument rather than an epithet. Former Sen. Rick Santorum made the case that the GOP should be “the party of the worker.” Which is better than being the party of disdain for “takers” and the “47 percent.” But Santorum went on to claim that immigration has depressed the earnings of native-born Americans. “We need to stand for an immigration policy,” he said, “that puts Americans and American workers first.” The campaign slogan “America first,” it turns out, is already taken. But Santorum is proposing a...

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